ForgottenBee talks to Ed Blaney and finds out; how growing up the youngest of a large family in Salford has kept it real, his musical career, what makes him happy and ‘Little Donkey’……..
FB 1/ Welcome Ed to Forgottenbeeblog, so tell me what it was like growing up in the northern city of Salford?
Growing up in Salford was pretty tough I suppose, but good for the soul. I wouldn’t change it for anything, the people, the spirit; things were always musical to me growing up in Salford. Hanging around on the corners in Brydon close, listening to the charts every Sunday, we used to have so much fun, often getting into trouble, but that was part of it. It has changed so much now, not sure it is a good thing. But all my 5 kids have all grown up here and they are a credit to Salford.
FB 2/ What are some of the most distinct things that make Salford so important to you?
You know I have this undying love and loyalty for it, always have had. I suppose coming from a big family, being the youngest of 6 had a good effect on me. When I was a kid, the word Salford was embedded into my genes.
FB 3/ Tell me more about your musical career Ed, I already know it’s going to be colourful in more ways than one 😉 ?
It’s a strange one, my 1st band Trigger Happy did well, play-listed on BBC Radio 1 (thanks to Terry Christian – who paid for our first EP), then I ended up becoming manager of ‘The Fall’. Top times indeed, real rock n roll, from Moscow to L.A, Via the UK & Europe, sell out tours. I made it happen, took a load of people with me too for the ride. There is nothing better than playing live to a crowd, or hearing a song you have wrote on the radio. No favours though I have to say, none at all, I grafted hard for it. So 20 years in, I’m still cutting it and enjoying it. Some new Smith & Blaney material is ready for release and also Girl Peculiar & Urban Flowers, plus a few other things I have on the go, not quite ready for the book or film just yet ;-).
URBAN FLOWERS – Feel The Same (Kardanski Remix) Feat Bianca Alana
FB 4/ It would be great to hear about the song writing process for you, can you take us through it?
The words arrive with a melody for me. Then I will find the right chords, kind of like my mind is took over during the process, and in that moment, the spirit and vibe is captured. When it’s transplanted with say a full band, it becomes it’s own entity, strange things happen sometimes.
FB 4/ The Salford Festival! What was the inspiration behind it? Where were you, and can you talk about the first festival?
It was like a calling, something I had to do. I had the idea and just went for it. Now 7 years on and over 1200 bands having played at it, makes me feel proud of what has been achieved, in Salford.
FB 5/ What hurdles cause the most issues when organising a festival?
You wouldn’t believe how difficult it is. Just having the belief alone is not enough, it takes a lot of mental, physical and spiritual energy to make it happen.
FB 6/ Do you have any regrets?
Not really, but I couldn’t really speak my mind as it would shock too many people.
FB 7/ What do you feel is the best way for new musicians of today to get heard and is there anything you wouldn’t recommend?
The only way is to write great songs with a passion 2nd to none. Avoid being fake and false and just be yourself.
FB 8/ How do you take time out and relax from the pressures of organising a music festival?
Seek counselling from your nearest and dearest and head for the nearest exit or clinic/institute 😉
FB 9/ What makes you happy?
My children and family are the most important things in my life, my friends 2nd, seeing all the above happy makes me happy.
FB 10/ What is the most rewarding aspect of organising Salford Music Festival and the most frustrating thing?
Providing a platform for bands and artists that otherwise would be ignored and seeing them going for it and the people enjoying it. The most frustrating thing is that it is spread out all across the city and not in one place. So I can’t see and thank everyone individually who performs.
FB 11/ On Forgottenbeeblog I love to encourage my guests to write some poetry…… can you write a poem no more than 20 words to include the words Salford Music festival?
Salford music festival happens once a year, a home for underdogs and those who have no fear.
FB 12/ What was the first record, cd and download you bought?
‘Little Donkey’ was my 1st record I think, cd was a Dylan one and download not to sure to be honest, probably a dance track.
FB 13/ If you could make a documentary about something or someone what or who would it be about?
Watch this space, www.yerrrr.co.uk 😉
FB 14/ What are your thoughts on social media?
Mixed I suppose. I think it gives certain people false hopes and creates issues, mentally and socially. It is not real life. It’s bad enough for adults, but for kids it’s just simply wrong in my opinion. They get bullied if they have no likes and they lose their confidence. The future I hope protects youngsters from it. Outside in the real world is where it’s at.
FB 15/ If you weren’t doing what you do today is there a career path you feel you would have liked to have taken?
Yeah for sure, football was my real passion as a kid, like so many others my age growing up in Salford. Getting involved in crime was in most cases inevitable, but I managed to turn it all around luckily, unlike some of my best mates.
FB 16/ Who or what has been your biggest inspiration in life and of what are you most proud?
My kids are my biggest achievement and inspiration. They are so special and unique, every single day they make me proud.
FB 17/ When it all goes pear shaped and the taxman/government/bookies/bar take your last penny who would you turn to?
Probably my mother she is now in her 70s. She is still a huge part of my life, always there when I need her help. A proper Salford star who suffers no fools.
Thank you Ed for coming on Forgottenbeeblog, it’s been a lot of fun….could you sum up your daily mantra in 5 words……
Smile, Be grateful, Help someone.
Photography courtesy of Ed Blaney, Alison Surtees @alsurtees, Richard William: https://www.facebook.com/richard.davis.54, Greg Neate www.neatephotos.com @neatephotos and Tracey Gibbs http://www.traceygibbsphotography.co.uk/ @traceygibbsuk
Ed Blaney FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/ed.blaney
Salford Music Festival – Ed Blaney Twitter: @salfordfestival
UrbanFlowers: Twitter: @urbansflowersUK
Girl Perculiar: Twitter: @girlperculiaruk
The Fall : TheFall.XYZ
Shoshin Twitter: @weareshoshin